Late goals keep Scottish shinty/hurling hopes alive
The first leg of this year's Shinty/Hurley International took place at the Bught Parks, Inverness at the weekend.
This is a compromised rules game that highlights the men from the boys, as both sports collide to compete for the annual title.
Scotland have not won the series since 2008 and were up against an extremely experienced Irish outfit.
From the off, Ireland pumped the ball high over the bar for points and full forward Patrick Horgan was on fire, knocking in three goals for an incredible tally of 22 of the visitors' 25-point haul.
The Scots battled hard but could not find the net... until the last minute of the game!
A deflected shot landed at Kevin Bartlett's stick and he pulled the ball away from nine-time 'all-star' Tommy Walsh to blast the ball high into the goal.
Before the Irish had time to react, Scotland had a 65-yard free which Lochaber defender Neil MacDonald casually walked up to.
The big Spean Bridge man skelped it high towards the goals and, with the goalkeeper holding a stick the size of a shovel, the ball dipped just underneath the crossbar to raise the roof off the Inverness stadium.
It was incredible! Scotland had scored 10 points in under 60 seconds.
Ireland were 25-19 winners at Bught Park (pic: Neil G Paterson)
Neil (MacD) later told me the last time he scored a goal he was in Primary Six and it was on a football video game.
However, that spectacular goal saved Scotland's bacon and now gives them a fighting chance in Ireland.
Ireland picked up two points for the win and an extra bonus point for scoring three goals, while Scotland's two extremely late goals earned a bonus point.
So can Scotland make up the two-point difference in next week's game at Ennis, Co-Claire?
Yes they can but they will need to find the net earlier this weekend to stand any chance of success.
The good news for the Scotland camp is Horgan who single-handedly destroyed Scotland, is away on holiday. Rumour has it the Camanachd Association has paid for it just to get him to France.
You can catch all the action live this Saturday on BBC ALBA from 14:00 BST.
The annual Shinty awards took place on Friday evening at the Columba Hotel in Inverness. These awards highlight all the good work by clubs and individuals throughout the year.
Congratulations to all the worthy winners.
The results were as follows:
Fair Play Award 1 Team Club - Col Glen Shinty Club
Fair Play Award 2 Team Club - Aberdour Shinty Club
Under 14 Player of the Year - Danny Kelly, Lovat
Under 17 Player of the Year - Arran MacPhee, Fort William
Under 21 Player of the Year - Greg Matheson, Lovat
Marine Harvest Youth Coach of the Year - Ian Hay, Oban Camanachd
Donella Crawford Award for Youth & Schools - Angus Thorburn, Aberdour
Women's Camanachd Association Marine Harvest Volunteer of the Year - Marion Gillies
Women's Camanachd Association Marine Harvest Team of the Year - Cowal and Bute
William Paterson Salver Volunteer of the Year - George Stewart
Marine Harvest North Division 3 Coach of The Year - Ian Petrie, Beauly
Marine Harvest South Division 2 Coach of The Year - Tony Howlett, Lochside Rovers
Marine Harvest North Division 2 Coach of The Year - Victor Smith, Fort William
Marine Harvest South Division 1 Coach of The Year - George Hay, Glasgow Mid Argyll
Marine Harvest North Division 1 Coach of The Year - Michael Delaney, Lochaber
Marine Harvest Award - Premiership Coach of The Year - James Perlich & Norman MacDonald, Kyles Athletic
Marine Harvest North Division 3 Player of The Year - Lewis Smith, Boleskine
Marine Harvest South Division 2 Player of The Year - Chris MacMillan, Lochside Rovers
Marine Harvest North Division 2 Player of The Year - Savio Genini, Kingussie
Marine Harvest South Division 1 Player of The Year - Daniel Cameron, Oban Camanachd
Marine Harvest North Division 1 Player of The Year - Shaun Nicolson, Lochaber
Marine Harvest Award - Premiership Player of The Year - Steven MacDonald, Newtonmore
Emerging Referee of the Year - Lachie Wood, Lochgilphead
The Johnny "Ach" MacRae Quaich - Referee of the Year - Graham Cameron, Caol
Marine Harvest Coach of the Year - James Perlich & Norman MacDonald, Kyles Athletic
Marine Harvest Player of the Year - Norman Campbell, Newtonmore
Marine Harvest Club of the Year - Lochaber Camanachd
Best of luck to our boys in Ireland, we'll be screaming for you...